Harpoon Octoberfest Beer - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Octoberfest BeerHarpoon Octoberfest Beer

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473 Reviews

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Reviews: 473
Hads: 1,116
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 6.79%
Wants: 20
Gots: 127 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2001

The character and complexity of Harpoon Octoberfest comes from the malt and hops. When looking at a freshly poured Harpoon Octoberfest, you will notice the garnet-red color with a firm, creamy head. The beer’s color is from a blend of Munich, chocolate, and pale malt. The thick head results in part from wheat malt added to the grist. The hop aroma of this beer is not overpowering but it is present. Tettnang hops add a subtle spice nose that blends with the malt character. This beer is full-bodied, smooth, and malty. Willamettehops are used to provide a gentle bitterness and to balance any residual sweetness present from the malt. The finish is soft and malty with a mild bitterness.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 473 | Hads: 1,116
Photo of Andrew041180
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep amber with definite tinge of ruby. The beer pours with about an inch of bubbly head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Moderate retention. May just have a slight haze to it, but is close to totally clear. A little darker than I expected, but looks very nice, especially the ruby.

S - Present, but non-distinct. I smell what I expect, because it is there? Or because I expect it to be there? Sweet malty notes, caramel mostly.

T - This is a well balanced beer. Not overly sweet like some other local examples, but the malt definitely wins the day (as I would expect, and as it should). Caramel sweetness and maybe something a little heavier. The description speaks of chocolate, which I can believe, but it doesn't taste like chocolate, which is a good thing. Lasting light bitterness on the finish.

M - Description says full, I say medium. Nice little thrill on the tongue and finishes clean, and a little dry.

O - I picked up a 12-pack because I needed something to last a while. Due to the quality of this beer it did not last a while. I expected to have one every night or so, and almost always had two. Very enjoyable. I'm not typically a huge fan of Harpoon, but I think they did a great job here. (1,218 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark copper with a one finger off-white head which fades to a few splotches. Some streaks of lacing on the glass.

Lots of caramel noticable in the aroma along with the unmistakable aroma of German hops. A little roast in there too.

The caramel malt really jumps out in the taste along with the bit of chocolate malt that is used. Earthy hops are very in your face as is the bitterness which is quite a bit higher than in other Marzens I have had. Sweetness is held in check nicely with just a touch of stickyness and lingering bitterness in the finish.

Overall, this is definitely an "Americanized" verison of the style but I quite like it. A little more bitterness and roast and it works very nicely. (750 characters)

Photo of jafaircloth
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance : light Copper crystal clear, moderate white head.

Aroma: Moderate Malt, Sweet Caramel with some spiciness on the backend.

Taste: Moderate Malt and spiciness. Pronounced Caramel profile from Munich and Vienna malts. Not proper in German version, but I welcome in the US representation.

Mouthfeel: Medium Body with medium carbonation and bite. Finishes Dry with a malt and Cinnamon aftertaste.

Overall: I really like this Marzen/Octoberfest this is my second six pack. I've worked through the imports and a few domestic tributes and I've come back this beer. It's one of my favorites - CHEERS! (646 characters)

Photo of rx-beer
2.89/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A - Deep, clear amber with an inch of cream colored head. Good head retention with very nice lacing.

S - Malty, slightly hoppy, with some citrus notes.

T - Malty and citrusy bitterness gives way to a sweet, grassy, and citrusy bitterness.

M - Medium to light body with some carbonation and an astringent finish.

O - What a dissapointment! Has an attractive appearance and an interesting aroma. Taste is just not my cup of tea and really nothing like the other beers in this style. Would never knowingly have this beer again. (533 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It a copper color with good clarity and slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel and toasted malts followed by some fruity notes and noble grassy hops.

Taste: Pretty straightforward Oktoberfest here folks. Very traditional and makes you feel like being in Germany.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, a little creamy, medium bodied, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid beer. Another local favorite I have enjoyed over the years. (592 characters)

Photo of lostinfla
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured ice cold from a bottle to a pint glass.
A rich medium dark amber, easily the darkest Octoberfest beer I have had to date.
Short lived, medium beige head that left clingy lacing throughout the glass.
Smelled initially like a classic German pilsner, but the malty marzen aroma really kicked in after the pour. Definitely Octoberfest time now!
As expected the flavor was rich and very full bodied and creamy. Harpoon does a great job of offsetting the sweet malty flavor with a nice hop bite at the finish. This beer improved as it warmed a bit too.

Good example of the style and consistant with Harpoons usual quality!
Fall has arrived!!! (646 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance - The beer is served a reddish amber color boarding on copper with a one finger foamy white head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good leave of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a sweet caramel and toffee smell. Mixing with these more surgery smells are some aromas of bread, malt, and a bit of spice.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice creamy bready malt base backed by a rather decent showing of a caramel sweetness. The caramel becomes more buttery in taste as the flavor advances, transitioning to a more toffee like taste. Some fruity flavors of a pear and apple develop more toward the middle of the taste with some spice hitting the tongue as well as a bit of roasted flavor. At the end some nutty flavors and a bit of grass joins the taste, in the end leaving a nice smooth, sweet, and malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. The lower carbonation was actually very nice for this brew as it accentuated the creamy feel as well as allowed all the more subtle flavors of spice, nut and grassiness to really stand out a bit more.

Overall – A rather enjoyable Oktoberfest overall. It was a little on the maltier side, but was balanced nicely with a good base of sweet flavors and some lighter flavors of spice, nut and grass. A good one to try. (1,510 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A desent beer that holds up well to style. The one thing that turned me off was the metallic off taste that lingered into the aftertaste or was the aftertase.
The color was right orange amber and clear. A dense head with good retention.
Aromas were light and malty.
Taste was malty. It started sweet and finished dry. No hops except for the bitterness.
Perhaps it was slightly infected but that dry metallic taste is puts me off. (430 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Crystal clear orange, head is thin but hangs around and clings to the side of the glass, handsome

S: Bready sweet malt backbone, hops are clean and spiciness and a little earthiness

T: Has a good malt backbone with the same hop presene as aroma, no roast just dry bready taste, hops balance it perfectly, easy to drink but still flavorful, outdoor German party beer...yes

M: Gets a little dry, decent but not overpowering carbonation

Notes: Better than the sum of its parts, which are still very good. Definitely one of the better common American Oktoberfest beers (608 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Harpoon Brewery - Harpoon Octoberfest Beer, poured into a stein.

Look - Pours a clear dark copper ruby with a decent sized fizzier head that retains about 1cm. Some lacing.

Smell - Dank fruitiness with a hint of sweet malt. Mouth watering. Great aroma, I thought.

Taste - Mostly malt with a touch of citrus hops. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Soda-like carbonation level that takes away from an element of the heaviness, which would have suited it quite well. I don't often think a brew is a little overly carbonated, but this one was a bit overdone. Slightly malt warm but not otherwise boozy. Great drinkability.

Overall - Solid brew, I'm not usually into the style but this was definitely enjoyable. Fans of the more traditional style may not be 100% sold on this one since it is definitely an adaptation of sorts on Harpoon's end. (860 characters)

Photo of Fergyx825
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark, not so traditional w/ the Oktoberfest which is supposed to be a dark amber. This is more of a darker blackish color, unless you hold it up to the light. Head around the edges as well as on the surface of the beer.

Smell: Full bodied beer, w/ malty hopiness. No real alcoholic smell. Smells great, and exactly what i'd expect from a Oktoberfest.

Taste: bodied taste, w/ coffee hint comes to mind. Very malty. If there was a bit more body, then this would knock it out of the park.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, but a thick beer. Bring down the carb, and you got yourself a good feel.

Overall: i'm a bit surprised by this beer, and my ratings show it. Best beer to date. Appearance brings it down, but it smells as its supposed to, and well in the end it gets an OK in my book. (801 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Beautiful amber. Leaves a thin lace head.
Smell: Malty, dried apricots (?).
Taste: Malty, something sweet or very lightly citrusy up front, and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Fairly carbonated.

This is an enjoyable Oktoberfest. Malt is clearly noticeable on the nose and tongue. The most interesting thing for me was a dry bitter aftertaste that never quite left my mouth. I would probably get this again. (413 characters)

Photo of kjlcm
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle - first 12 pack we saw this year!

a - dark amber with a nice thick white head. Good looking fall beer!

s - smells malty and nutty

t - malty sweet flavor. Some carmel in there.

m - an ok mouthful

o - I used to like this beer a lot but as I grow fonder of the IPAs I do believe I have moved beyond the Octoberfest beers. Part of the season like the foliage though! (381 characters)

Photo of KidKrafty
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a beer mug. Clear amber color with a white head that eventually just went away. Lots of sweet malty aromas. The taste is sweet caramel upfront finishing with a bitter bite. It goes down smooth and easy. Good seasonal beer, prost. (251 characters)

Photo of CorvetteMike
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark amber, with a medium head that lingers on .

S: Hint of cinnamon, spice, and Rye.

T: Slight sweet malty taste and cinnamon flavor that lingers on.

M: Smooth medium bodied with slight carbonation.

O: Very smooth drinkable beer. A favorites. (250 characters)

Photo of fx20736
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 8/10/13.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug, served cold.

appearance: darkish orange amber with a 2 finger creme brulee' head. nice lacing.

aroma: sugar cookies, caramel with a little hoppiness, nice.

mouthfeel: a little thin.

taste: toasted wheat bread with plum jam, a touch of burnt toast at the end with some bitterness for balance.

notes: good, decent O-fest, comparable to Brooklyn IMO. (451 characters)

Photo of nukem5
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with full head not su much lacing down walls of glass as rye IPA but a bit there.

S: Aromais slightly cloying but full of malts and some spice.

T: Taste is rich malts and some mild hops.Sadley not much else there.

M: Mouthfeel is med to full bodied with very little carbonation.

O: Overall a decent beer with good balance of hops and malts, would definitly drink this one again. (419 characters)

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a bright, clear amber color with a bubbly off-white head that settles quickly. Some decent lacing on the glass as you drink it down.

S: Roasty, biscuity, and bready malt backbone and a slight toffee sweet note. Hops are faint but earthy.

T: Light roasted but not bitter grains with a dry bready quality and a semi-sweet toffee taste to blend in with the roasted barley malt smoothness. Hops just kiss this beer to let the sweetness know it does not rule this beer completely. Finish is sweet but not cloying.

M: Light to medium body with crisp prickly carbonation.

O: Easy to drink a few and pair with some sausages or pork and sauerkraut. Better then other US versions of this style it can hold it's own but not the benchmark for the style. Will please most craft beer fans. I would get it again. (811 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a thick and pillowy cream colored head with impressive retention, nearly two finger long after the pour. Good patches of lace around the ring.

S- sweet bready malt with some nutty characteristics, a bit yeasty with just a touch of floral hop.

T- palate follows the nose with sweet and nutty malt, a bit of caramel with a dry finish and just a bit if hop linger. Good flavor profile but would prefer a bit more malt-forward profile.

M- medium body, low carbonation and super creamy mouthfeel with a velvety finish

O- this one has great drinkability, which is probably why the label states that they brew this beer for festivals. It did however seem to be a bit subdued in the malt profile. Overall enjoyable though. (762 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Great clarity, reddish brown in color. One inch off-white head has decent retention, though it eventually settles into just a thin cap.

S: Very clean on the nose with scents of grain, light caramel notes, hay, grassy hops, and perhaps even a touch of cocoa if you search for it.

T: Assertive breadiness on the attack. Crusty, even. Fleeting touches of cocoa and nuts. Toasted grain. Vague, light fruitiness, but clean overall. Maybe even a bit of rough wheat character. Hop bitterness with a mild grassy/spicy/oily taste. Finishes with a bite of toasted crust and cocoa.

M: Definitively medium bodied. Slight firmness, creamy. Moderate scrubbing carbonation. It doesn't quite have that nice malty firmness I expect from the style, but it's almost there.

O: Lands toward the bigger, darker end of the O-fest spectrum. Not as technically sound as some out there, but a pleasant drink nonetheless. (963 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/19/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a small 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, molasses, and herbal hops. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity; fits the style very well. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, toffee, pear, apple, biscuit, light nuttiness, floral, and herbal hops. Minimal bitterness on the finish as expected; with lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, toast, biscuit, toffee, light nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Pretty nice flavor balance and complexity, but it was not as robust feeling as I was hoping from the aromas; zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Oktoberfest style. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and very smooth to drink as expected. Could have used a bit fuller flavor, but this was still a very good style representation. Definitely enjoyed this one. (1,286 characters)

Photo of ACD
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Octoberfest Beer

Smooth and tasty!

Great beer in between the fall pumpkin beers and the winter and Christmas beers coming up

Easy drinking a great session beer for Thanksgiving or and afternoon football game

Nice beer when you want something tasty but want to not get filled up with a heavier type beer (313 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper red color with big 2 finger foamy light tan head that was full of tight little bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving great foamy lacing all over and rings as it went down. A great looking beer with a head so thick that you could run your finger through it.

Smells very malty, with sweet malt, caramel, wet wheat bread, floral hops, toffee and grains; not a lot going on, but everything present is very robust and enjoyable.

Tastes very malty, with grains, caramel, sweet malt, wet wheat bread, mild dark fruit, chocolate or cocoa powder, floral hops, toffee, faint syrup, nut and herbs; the hops show up more and add a lot to balancing the flavor. The chocolate malts leave a cocoa powder taste that mix well with the herbal notes from the hops, which then trails off with light smoky notes; very complex for the style and highly drinkable.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium almost chewy body and a grainy sweet finish. It goes down very easy.

Overall this was very good and would make for a great session beer on a nice crisp afternoon drinking at a backyard party. A definite fall treat. (1,152 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Octoberfest has a thick, soapy, cream-colored head, and a clear, copper color with some streaming bubbles and not much lacing. The aroma is of sweet and sour brown bread, with sugar. Flavor is of sweet, sugary, brown bread, lightly bitter hops, and a touch of caramel. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Harpoon Octoberfest finishes mostly dry, crisp, refreshing, and supremely drinkable. It's a wonderful beer, and I think you should check it out!

RJT (461 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Deep ruby red and brown color with a sticky off white head. A quarter inch of head remains throughout.

S. malty, hops, caramel, chocolate, faint floral notes

T. This is fantastic offering of the American version of this style. Nice malty and sweet start followed by a smooth and rich swirl on the toungue. Finishes with a nice snap of bitterness from the hops.

O. This is a phenomenal rendition of the octoberfest. A must try. (434 characters)

Harpoon Octoberfest Beer from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.